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FSU Hockey At A Glance: The Ferris State University men's ice hockey will make the lengthy trek north to Fairbanks, Alaska, this weekend (Oct. 27-28) as the Bulldogs face the University of Alaska Nanooks in a two-game Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) series at UA's Carlson Center. Both games are scheduled for 11:05 p.m. (EDT) start times. The league series represent the only regular-season meetings between the two teams for the 2006-07 campaign.
The Records: Ferris State has currently posted a 3-3-0 overall record and a 1-1-0 CCHA mark after splitting a league home-and-home series with the Western Michigan Broncos last weekend (Oct. 20-21). The Bulldogs won their CCHA opener with a 2-1 triumph last Friday (Oct. 20) at WMU's Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, Mich. Ferris then was dealt a 5-3 loss by the Broncos in last Saturday's (Oct. 21) rematch held at FSU's Ewigleben Ice Arena in Big Rapids, Mich.
Alaska sports a 2-1-1 overall mark and is 0-0-0 in the CCHA after going 0-1-1 in a non-league series versus Alaska-Anchorage in the opening two outings of the four-game Governor's Cup in Fairbanks. The Nanooks came out on the short end of a 6-5 overtime decision to the Seawolves in last Friday's (Oct. 20) opener and then notched a 1-1 overtime tie in Saturday's (Oct. 21) rematch. UA, which was among other teams receiving votes in this week's U.S. College Hockey Online/CSTV and Inside College Hockey.com (INCH) polls, compiled an 18-16-5 overall record with an 11-13-4 CCHA mark.
The Series: Ferris State has a 23-17-2 lead over Alaska in an all-time series which began in the 1984-85 season. The Bulldogs are 8-14-1 in contests played at Fairbanks and dropped a pair of league outings, 3-2 and 4-3, to the Nanooks in their last road appearances (1/21-22/05). Ferris is 1-4-1 in its last six outings against Alaska to date and went 0-1-1 in last season's (11/4-5) series at Big Rapids. The Bulldogs suffered a 5-2 setback and then skated to a 3-3 overtime tie. FSU is 3-3-0 all-time in October contests versus UA, which includes an 0-2-0 road mark.
The Coaches: Ferris State – Bob Daniels (Michigan State, 1982), 15th season, 228-267-48 (.464) – (19-17-2 vs. Alaska). Daniels has the distinction of being the all-time winningest coach in Ferris State history. He was honored as the 2002-03 CCHA Coach of the Year and the Inside College Hockey (INCH) Coach of the Year, but the crowning highlight of his coaching career was being chosen as the recipient of the 2003 Spencer Penrose Award as the ACHA's Division I National Hockey Coach of the Year.
Alaska – Tavis McMillan (Alaska Fairbanks, 1994), 3rd season, 37-33-10 (.525) – (3-0-1 vs. Ferris State). MacMillan, the sixth head coach in Alaska hockey history, has guided the Nanooks to seven playoff victories over the last two season with only Michigan State matching the feat. The former UA star presently ranks as the Nanook's fourth all-time leading scorer with 192 career points.
2006-07 CCHA Preseason Polls: Ferris State was selected to finish ninth (55 points) in the 2006-07 CCHA Coaches Poll and seventh in the media poll (437 points), which was announced Sept. 27, 2006 during the CCHA's annual media day event at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich. Michigan State (177 points) was the favorite in the coaches poll while Michigan (845 points) claimed top honors in the media balloting, finishing one point ahead of second-place Michigan State (844 points). A total of 77 media members ranked the 12 CCHA teams in projected order of finish for the regular season. League coaches ranked the CCHA teams, excluding their own school. Alaska was chosen seventh in the coaches poll.
On The Radio: All of Ferris State's 2006-07 Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) contests can be heard live on Big Country WWBR (100.9 FM) with Bill Beckwith handling the play-by-play duties.
On The Internet: Ferris State University Athletics’ official web site can be found at www.ferris.edu/sports. The site features information on all of FSU’s varsity athletics programs including rosters, statistics, yearbooks and more.
Live Stats: “Live Stats” of all 2006-07 Ferris State men's ice hockey home contests will be provided via the internet. Visit http://ccha.cstv.com/ and click on “GT” to access the GameTracker live statistics feature.
Career Best – Sophomore right wing J.T. Dahlinger’s (Grosse Pointe Park) has a team-high tying six points (1-5=6) to date during his career-high four-game point streak. Dahlinger registered one point (0-1=1) in 17 contests last season.
The Big 50 – Senior left wing Matt Verdone (Summerstown, Ontario) is two points shy of notching his 50th career point. Verdone, who had a career season-high 23 points (15-8=23) in 38 outings a season ago, has compiled 48 career points (25-23=48) in 110 contests.
Top Forward Line – The Bulldogs’ top forward line of Verdone (2-2=4), freshman center Aaron Lewicki (2-3=5) and senior right wing Zac Pearson (2-1=3) have combined for 20.3 percent (12-59) of the team’s points production this season.
On The Shelf – Senior left wing Mark Bomersback (Rochester, Alberta), Ferris State’s top returning points leader from 2005-06 with 32 points (16-16=32) in 40 games, suffered a broken leg in this season’s opener against Union (10/6) and will be sidelined until mid-December.
Closing In A Milestone – Head coach Bob Daniels, the program’s all-time winningest coach, is two victories shy of attaining his 100th career road decision. The Bulldogs were 8-8-3 on the road last season, which included a 5-6-3 road ledger against CCHA competition.
Scoring Machine – Sophomore center Dan Riedel (Rochester Hills), a 2005-06 CCHA All-Rookie Team honoree, has registered a point in 24 of his 39 career contests, which includes four of five outings this season. Riedel has racked up a team-high tying six points (1-5=6) in five games this campaign after producing a team third-best 31 points (11-20=31)?in 34 2005-06 season contests. Riedel is wearing jersey number 14 which was previously worn by 2002-03 Hobey Baker Memorial Award Hat Trick finalist, AHCA All-American and CCHA Player of the Year Chris Kunitz.
Something For Joey – Senior defenseman Joe Van Culin (Monticello, Minn.) has equaled his goal output from a season ago after producing a power-play lamplighter in last Saturday’s (10/21) home setback to Western Michigan. Van Culin had six points (1-5=6) in 36 appearances last season. He tallied one goal (1-2=3) in 20 contests during his freshman year in the 2003-04 campaign.
Shooting Display – Ferris State has outshot its opponents in five of its six contests games this season. Ferris is averaging 37.7 shots per outing (226 total shots) compared to the opposition’s 25.0 shots per game (150 total shots). The Bulldogs recorded 40 or more shots on net in their first three outings this campaign. The exception was matching Western Michigan’s 26 shots on goal last Friday (10/20) at Kalamazoo, Mich.
Productive Freshmen – The Bulldogs are getting solid production from their freshmen class which has accounted for eight of the team’s 22 goals (36.4%) and 17-of-59 scoring points (28.8%) to date. Center Aaron Lewicki (Livonia) and right wing Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) each have five points (2-3=5)in six outings this season.